Getting Reading Off To A Good Start

National BookStart Week

BookTrust and TalkingMums

Last week saw The BookTrust’s National #BookStart Week. If you don’t know who the BookTrust are then here is a little info.

BookTrust are the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. Each year they reach 2.5 million children across the UK with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading, because they know that reading can transform lives. Since BookStart started in 1992, 34 million books have been gifted to children.

Their flagship programme BookStart reaches every child in England and Wales in their first year. The National BookStart Week was in celebration of this amazing programme, which is now in it’s 25th year. This years celebrations had the theme ‘Let’s explore outdoors’ and many local libraries and schools joined in with the celebrations

With my eldest firmly a lover of books and doing well with her reading I wanted to take my son to join in the celebrations. Being the second child he doesn’t get as much quality time spent on him as his sister did and I think it’s about time he did.

Our local library held a ‘bunny trail’. My son only being 16 months didn’t really understand what was going on but it was nice to just spend some quality time with him, outdoors and amongst other children. He got to meet the BookStart Bear and loved having free reign of running around our local park smelling flowers and giggling at birds.

BookTrust and TalkingMums

Once we had found all the clues we received a sheet with nursery rhymes on and a copy of Ellie Sandall’s ‘Every Bunny Dance’. A lovely little story about friendship and empathy. Set in the woodland it is full of music, dance and positive messaging. We sat and sang a nursery rhyme then walked back to the library for a drink and a biscuit and more singing. It really was lovely to be a part of it and see my little one dancing and attempting to do the moves!

BookTrust and TalkingMums

BookTrust and TalkingMums

It also brought to my attention the story time sessions that the library hold and the activities that are being planned over the school holidays. Getting these pencilled in!

I genuinely believe that reading is such an important skill for children to learn and enjoy. I’ve written about this before in ‘7 Reasons Why you Should Read To Your Children’ and also in my post promoting BookStart’s ‘Bath, Book and Bed’ routine.

If you visit the BookTrust Website you will find a list of suggested books that explore the outdoors during an adventure or a tale. One of my favourites is on there ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’ by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

This is not a sponsored post, I just firmly believe in celebrating the good work The BookTrust do for families across the country.


BookStart Bear


  1. I love going to reading events with the baby. I like to think it helps foster an appreciation for reading. We don’t have this one specifically in the US, but we have a lot of different similar events and try to visit as many as possible. #dreamteam

  2. Books are not only important for language skills, they are really important got imagination too. I love reading. I don’t get as much time to do it as I should but I do enjoy dipping in to a book.

  3. My 16 month old loves book and the outdoors, this sounds like great fun. I’m always weary of taking him to the library- he likes to ‘explore’ the pop up flaps shall we say and I always worry I’ll find an extra bit of book in his hand when we get home! #Dreamteam

  4. I love reading and love reading to my daughter. I love the activity they set up, how fun and engaging. It’s great to make the time and do all sorts of activities around reading. #DreamTeam

  5. Absolutely agree with you. Reading is so important and enjoyment of reading is such a huge gift to give to children. Thanks for sharing the work of BookStart #DreamTeam xx

  6. My 4yo is learning to read and relishing being able to read to us! Books and story time have been a daily fixture for her since she was born, we’ve continued that with our 1yo too. I must admit though, we can be a bit slack at using our local library (we all have cards) so this has inspired me to add it to our list this weekend – they do such great events! Thanks for sharing #DreamTeam

  7. What a lovely idea and I totally agree with the importance of reading, we love our reading time in this house and our 8 month old even likes it (well actually she likes to eat the books at the moment)! 🙈#dreamteam

  8. Oooh I want to meet the BookStart Bear! He looks great! Our local library has held a number of bookstart events and we really loved the free books the children got when they were born. I think bookstart do a great job! #dreamteam

  9. The book start bear looks soo friendly. It’s a great way to introduce children to books and encouraging reading from an early age #dreamteam

  10. I love bookstart! I couldn’t believe we were given such lovely free books when we stumbled into the local library at 7 weeks. It was the first time I’d made it out on my own, with two newborns strapped to my chest, and the library was the closest place I could think of to go! #dreamteam

  11. I love BookStart and all the amazing work they do. I’m a total bibliophile, and I think it’s so important to read with our kids and encourage a healthy relationship with the written word. Love this #DreamTeam

  12. I love books and I would set up home in a library if I could. Ever since my oldest was a year old we have visited the library every three weeks, but the last few months my youngest hasn’t wanted to go or be read to (she’s nearly three) and it’s been hard but I knew pushing her was the wrong way to go. Thankfully, last night and tonight she asked for stories at bedtime and has said she wants to go back to the library, it was music to my ears!

  13. Bookstart are brilliant. My girls have loved the books they have received from them. Its so wonderful that every child receives books from them. Reading with children (and instilling a love of books) is something I think is so important. It looks like you had a fun day! #DreamTeam

  14. I agree with you, reading is such an important skill for children to learn and overall enjoy. We’re big readers in our household and especially love library visits. The work that The Book Trust does is just amazing. #DreamTeam

  15. We still have the BookTrust bag and treasure box the Tubblet got when she was the same age. It’s a brilliant scheme. Thank you for highlighting it. Anything that gets books into the hands of anyone is a great thing 🙂

  16. They are wonderful organisation! The two books we got when my daughter was born are still on her bedtime reading shelf. I think they bring her comfort as she occasionally picks them out even though she can deal with more complex books now. We’ve been to various Children’s Centre sessions with BookStart Bear too! I absolutely agree that it’s vital to foster a love of reading. Looks like you had fun too! #DreamTeam

  17. #dreamteam on tuesday we got given every bunny dance at Nursery – but nobody explained why…now i know!!!!! the story was fab but the mission of BookStart is more powerful. thanks for explaining why we received it and making it an even sweeter story (thanks book start 🙂

  18. We love Book start! I only found out about it by chance at a mum and baby group when we were handed a pack filled with so many fantastic books. I love that they encourage reading for everyone, no matter how young. Thank you for being a brilliant guest host on the #DreamTeam xx

  19. This is great Id never heard of bookstart before. I keep meaning to take my toddler to the story time things at the local library too always seem to forget they are on. #dreamteam

  20. Ben has nearly a whole shelf full of books and Ive been banned from buying him anymore – so now its time to get nanny to buy some for her house as he’s there when Im working… he loves them and right now he’s all about the “thats not my….” kind of books. I was such a bookworm and i’m all about getting him just the same! #dreamteam


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